Homicide trial may be delayed

February 17, 2000|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The trial of a Chambersburg man charged in a double homicide might be delayed after he waived his preliminary hearing Thursday on a related rape charge.

Michael Brandon Singley, 23, of 1126 E. Brandon Drive, was charged Dec. 29 with raping Christine Rohrer, one of the two people he is charged with killing on the night of Nov. 3, 1998.

After Singley waived the hearing, District Justice Gary L. Carter scheduled him to appear in Franklin County Court for mandatory arraignment on March 29.

Singley's case is now scheduled for the March trial term. He faces two counts of criminal homicide and two counts of attempted homicide, along with charges of criminal trespass and theft.


"We will move to consolidate the (rape and other) charges once we get the case in," District Attorney John F. Nelson said.

Singley's attorney, Public Defender Robert J. Trambley, would not comment on why Thursday's hearing was waived or whether he planned to ask the court for another continuance.

Trambley said court-ordered medical tests for Singley, including an MRI brain scan and electroencephalogram, "are not entirely completed at this point."

Singley is charged with the stabbing death of Rohrer, 23, of 391 Elder St., and the fatal shooting of James Gilliam, 39, her next-door neighbor. He is also charged with stabbing and shooting his cousin and Rohrer's husband, Travis Rohrer, and with attempting to shoot Gilliam's girlfriend, Deb L. Hock of Chambersburg.

The rape charge was filed more than a year after the incident and was based on a DNA match between Singley and physical evidence recovered from Christine Rohrer's body, police said.

Last year a defense psychiatrist determined Singley was competent to assist in his own defense. Also last year, the District Attorney's Office filed a notice of aggravating circumstances in the case, a requirement for seeking the death penalty in Pennsylvania.

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